NJ targets pollution in poorer areas with 6 lawsuits

NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 10: The rising sun illuminates the skyline of Newark and Red Bull Arena on October 10, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey is suing several defendants over a half-dozen polluted sites in mostly poor and minority communities.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe announced the six lawsuits filed Friday in state superior court.

Grewal says the state is sending a message to polluters that they'll be held accountable. The sites are in every region of the state, including Newark, Trenton and Camden, and involve former dumps, dry cleaners and a metal finishing factory.

Grewal and McCabe have worked together to sue companies over pollution before, bringing eight cases in December.

It's a change under Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy's administration, which began pursuing similar environmental cases that languished under his predecessor Republican Chris Christie.